Arsenic in Drinking Water and Ways to Remove It

Arsenic is a well-known poison right from ancient history. Herbicides use arsenic in modern times. Hence, arsenic-contaminated water is lethal for the body. Let us explore more information about arsenic and ways to remove it from drinking water.

What Do We Understand By Arsenic?

An extremely toxic metalloid, arsenic is predominantly found in groundwater. Arsenic is present in its inorganic form in groundwater. Pesticides leach and settle in groundwater, mainly carried by rainwater. Industrial pollution, farming and mining are the major causes of arsenic pollution. Factories release inorganic arsenic carried by rainwater to underground water sources.

What Is Arsenic Poisoning?

Arsenic does not affect the water in urban areas. Generally, when you consume underground water directly from any well, you may encounter the adverse effects of arsenic. Some long-term health problems may occur from drinking arsenic-infused tap water. But, the severity in wells is much more acute.

Arsenic exposure in cooking and drinking water is detrimental to health. Organic arsenic from fertilisers is risky if exposed to the skin or consumed.

Children are in danger if they consume arsenic-contaminated water while bathing or swimming. Consuming water with 10 ppb (parts per billion) is harmful to health. Water purifier service in Lucknow provides excellent purifiers to remove even the slightest traces of arsenic.

What Symptoms Occur If You Consume Arsenic?

Inorganic arsenic in high concentration is detrimental to health. Lower concentrations of arsenic over a long period of time can increase both cancer and diabetes. If you suffer from arsenic poisoning, you will show symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and numbness.

Water having traces of arsenic will not make you show extreme symptoms but will have long-term risks. Thus, consumption of arsenic even in small amounts is dangerous.

How to Filter Arsenic from Water?

Reverse Osmosis is the most effective strategy for removing arsenic from water. Reverse osmosis methods remove large amounts of contaminants from water, including heavy metals, sulphates and nitrates. The toxicity of arsenic depends on its form of existence. Reverse Osmosis effectively carries out the arsenic treatment.

Water gets pushed under extreme pressure through a semi-permeable membrane. Apart from arsenic, RO removes contaminants such as copper, lead, chloride etc. Inorganic arsenic has different oxidation levels; arsenic 3 (As3) and arsenic 5 (As5). As3 has high water solubility and is more toxic compared to As5.

As5 gets removed much faster than As3 by the RO system. Therefore you must ensure pre-treatment of the purifier for best results. RO service near me in Lucknow supplies purifiers with point-of-use (POU) systems attached to the sensitive faucet.

Ro systems are an inexpensive method to remove arsenic. As5 form of arsenic is effectively reduced by RO water purifiers. To remove As3 or trivalent arsenic, you should perform pre-treatment of water.

Pre-chlorinating the water will convert trivalent As3 to pentavalent As5 form. This is the most convenient form to remove arsenic by Reverse Osmosis treatment.

How Does Reverse Osmosis System Actually Function?

The action of the RO system depends on high pressure and multiple filters to purify water. Water passes under high pressure through a pre-filter, post-filter and a special RO semi-permeable membrane. About 40-70% of arsenic gets removed by the carbon filter. The RO membrane removes the rest of the contaminants.

The semi-permeable membrane has a pore size of 0.0001 microns. The size of arsenic is around 0.1 microns, far more prominent than the tiny pores. This prevents arsenic from passing through the semi-permeable membrane. The trapped arsenic and other contaminants get flushed out in the filtration process.

What Are The Other Methods Of Removing Arsenic?

The ion exchange process is another way to deionise water and eliminate contaminants. Anion exchange filters use resins that help remove arsenic from water. Water under tremendous pressure gets passed through many layers of resins. These resin beads exchange ions from arsenic with elements that are non-toxic in water.

Distillation is useful in filtering inorganic arsenic. It is a process of heating water, collecting the steam, and cooling the steam to receive the liquid state. Contaminants with a higher boiling point get left behind when water boils.

We collect the cooled steam in containers, and the elements that cannot evaporate are left behind. Distillations remove microorganisms that cause waterborne diseases and heavy metals.

Arsenic is a carcinogenic and hazardous substance that can cause severe ailments when consumed. Treating water containing arsenic is extremely important for the well-being of people.

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